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Treatment Effectiveness of Amantadine Against Dengue Virus Infection

Chieh-Cheng Lin, Wen-Ching Chen

(Department of General Medicine, Feng Lin Clinic, Ding Sang Clinic, and Kung Feng Clinic, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:921-924

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.901014

BACKGROUND: About 400 million cases of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, are reported annually, but no drug is yet available for treatment. In 1988, at Feng Lin Clinic, Taiwan, we encountered about 10,000 cases and tested various drugs before confirming an antiviral effect of amantadine against dengue virus in vitro. After we administered amantadine to patients for 1–2 days, most achieved full remission. None experienced potentially life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome. Herein, we present 34 cases from recent clinical experience that show amantadine’s unusual effect against dengue virus infection.
CASE REPORT: We divided 34 patients with symptoms of dengue fever, confirmed by a screening test, into 3 groups: 6 Category 1 patients received amantadine at onset, 21 Category 2 patients received amantadine within 2-6 days, and 7 Contrast group patients received no amantadine because they visited other clinics or were admitted to a large hospital. When Category 1 patients were treated with amantadine 100 mg 3 times per day, all symptoms dramatically subsided within 1–2 days. In Category 2 patients, most symptoms diminished within 1–2 days after starting the same regimen. In the Contrast group, all symptoms persisted 7 days after onset. White blood cell and platelet counts in Category 1 and 2 patients recovered to normal range, but remained below low normal in the Contrast group.
CONCLUSIONS: Amantadine is effective and should be given as soon as possible to stop the disease course if dengue fever is confirmed through screening or clinical signs and symptoms. A well-designed larger sample study is warranted to test this effectiveness.

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